A few years ago, I had a re-occurring dream that I lost one of the boys in a crowded place and was frantically searching for him. I would wake up exhausted, then relieved, realizing it was only a bad dream. For the past month, I have had a similar experience, only that every morning when I awake, I realize it has not been a bad dream. It just feels that way. My brother has really died.
In the first few days, I was on auto-pilot, checking off related tasks on my daily to-do list. My brother Ted and I had the unenviable task of calling family members, then trying to identify Arnie's friends and co-workers and notify them. Telling Hart and Jeff was one of the hardest parenting tasks I have had to do.
It was a great comfort that friends here rallied around me. As people heard the news, they expressed their condolences or went out of their way when they saw me to speak to me. My Weight Watchers group sent a card signed by the whole gang.
Now things have quieted down. I have sent thank-you notes and Ted is working on the logistics of Arnie's estate. I have returned from a visit to my mother in California. I have resumed eating. The news isn't really news anymore.
People still solicitously ask how I am doing. Not so well, thank you. The mourning period is brief, but the loss is permanent. I am still walking around in a vivid nightmare. But thank you for asking.